Feast your eyes on this! This weekend we had a trip planned to Budapest as part of our official "Farewell, Blue Danube" tour. Normally, we stay somewhere more modest but always central - with nary a thing to complain about. But not this time, no sir! This time, diplo-husband surprised me with arranging a stay at the gorgeous Four Seasons Gresham Palace, which has been an Object of My Affection for some time. And apparently, Ban-ki Moon doesn't think it's so bad either - he was also on board for the weekend.
Located at the foot of the Szeczenyi Bridge in Budapest, this hotel is a smorgasbord of Art Nouveau craftsmanship, built at the turn of the century by the Gresham Life Insurance company. It took a hit during the second world war, and then whatever was left was done in completely by the Commies during the following fifty years. In the late 90's it was taken over by a partnership of the Four Seasons and various Hungarian entities, and they brought in small armies of craftsmen to restore it to its former glories over the course of years before opening in 2004. The stained glass, the ironwork, the tile work, the array of fonts, the views, the florals...and above all, that central chandelier really are all things to see.
On our last trip, we stopped by the Four Seasons for a not so reasonably priced glass of Champagne and DH probably noticed me looking around wistfully, wishing I was part of it for a little longer. So in the spirit of not letting opportunities go by, he surprised me this weekend. The hotel is everything it's cracked up to be, with excellent service through and through - even for diplo-baby, who was welcome from the beginning (something that you might recall from our Velden trip means a lot to new parents). Put this on your Budapest itinerary - if not to stay, at least for a candlelit aperitif at the piano bar. It's worth it.
Thank you for a great weekend, diplo-husband - you still manage to surprise me every time!
Photography from the Four Seasons.